A night at the ward

At eight o’clock
your whispers are faded 
periwinkle and wrinkled 
with shadows 
of indigo bruised,
like a worn pair of jeans
hugging your hips
a summer ten years ago.

Closer to midnight 
you labored sighs
have darkened to prussian,
while the ventilator hisses
are hot pink and bright.
and only much later 
just before dawn
a cornflower gasp
flees from your lips,
and the rage of your silence
turns purple and puce.

Today we are writing about colors in Synesthesia at dVerse where Grace hosts. I have not been in an ER with anyone so the poem is fiction.

November 5, 2020

27 responses to “A night at the ward

  1. This hits close to home as I have been in the ER many times before. I can feel the chill and hiss of that ventilator. Such a sad ending but I love that cornflower gasp and rage of silence, so telling of its weight.

  2. Your poem took me back to dark places, Björn, especially the whispers
    ‘periwinkle and wrinkled
    with shadows
    of indigo bruised,
    like a worn pair of jeans’
    and ventilator hisses ‘hot pink and bright’.
    But oh, the ‘cornflower gasp’ and the rage of silence that ‘turns purple and puce’!

  3. Wow, the emotion and darkness in this piece is tangible. I also love the choice of colors you describe in this poem, it just makes the emotions so easy to visualize and imagine in this narrative of grief and loss.

  4. Fantastic,
    periwinkle and wrinkled
    with shadows
    of indigo bruised,
    like a worn pair of jeans
    hugging your hips
    a summer ten years ago

    This seems to capture a whole period of life in a few lines.

  5. Oh thank goodness your poem is fiction as that is quite an upsetting image. Unfortunately I have been witness to a situation like this and you have invoked the feeling very powerfully.

  6. Your fiction is powerful, your message palpable. Your ending is very strong (I was going to say killer). I think you aced the prompt.

  7. Been there, bedside, (without the colors, of course) Bjorn, and you nailed the scenario perfectly. And that perfection is enhanced (can perfection BE enhanced?) by your choice and inclusion of breathcolor. Awesomely writ.

  8. The emotion in this one is so raw and palpable, Bjorn! I can picture the scene especially this part; “a cornflower gasp flees from your lips, and the rage of your silence turns purple and puce.” Powerful write! 💝

  9. I’ve thought the word Synesthesia sounds like a condition wherein the “Sufferer is someone who fails to remember the sins they’ve committed and therefore, is doomed to repeat their mistakes.” But the true meaning is much, much coolers. Though very tragic when paired with a ventilator and end of life.

    I have had that unenviable experience. It’s a sound and sight you can never unsee or unhear.

  10. Bjorn, Your paint the scenes with your poetic brush so delicately but to such intense beauty of feeling. Even that of sorrow.

  11. “the rage of your silence”

    A wonderfully ambiguous and evocative image. I think this comes the closest, even, to the experience of synesthesia–that conflation of the unrelated.

  12. It’s all been said … so poignantly powerful I was sure it was a close family member, so most relieved it’s fiction … graphically painted!

  13. I wish you could be with me here Bjorn, as you would have heard an audible and loud sigh escape from my lips as I finished reading this. I have seen my husband on life support and this is too real. I am forever grateful we did not experience the end lines of your poem. This is a powerful write.

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